What famous films feature Rome’s favourite landmarks?

Bursting with culture and historical charm, it’s no wonder that Rome is a popular location with film directors. Let’s see if you’ve spotted some of the city’s famous spots in these on-screen hits…

There are countless films throughout history that have capitalised on the beauty of their film sites. Using a location as a living movie set to create theatrical moments and realistic story lines. Rome is one of the most well-known tourists’ spots in the entire world, being famous both for its history and its culture, as well as its link with famous films. Bursting with charming cobbled streets, picturesque buildings, and beautiful vines decorating the buildings, Rome is a perfect setting for a charming and romantic movie. Here are just some of the most well-known films that have put Rome and its attractions on the map.

  • Roman Holiday

    The Roman holiday (1953) is undoubtedly one of the most iconic films set in Rome. The film surrounds two people, the famous Audrey Hepburn playing a beautiful princess who meets a charming journalist played by Gregory Peck. Hepburn escapes from her royal duties and the two begin a wonderful tour of the city. With famous attractions such as the Spanish Steps and the Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) appearing in some truly romantically iconic scenes. The timing of the film falls directly within the ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ era. This phrase is used to describe a period in the 1950s and 60s when Rome became a major location for international filmmaking, attracting many foreign productions.

  • La Dolce Vita

    La Dolce Vita is a 1960 drama which again features a journalist, but this time, we follow the journalist’s scope, which is his journey of “the sweet life” in Rome, as the film is titled. This film was famous for showing both Rome’s beauty and dark side during the 60s. Its iconic scene of Anita Ekberg strutting through the Trevi Fountain in a fall length ballgown is one of the most memorable roman scenes in history. With even a few fans trying to recreate the scene in real life, before enduring incredibly large fines by Italy. The film received worldwide box-office success and won the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival the year it was released.

  • The Talented Mr Ripley

    With a cast as iconic as its setting The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) is a psychological thriller starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett. Bursting with incredible European spots and set in the 1950s, the films follows Matt Damon’s character Mr Ripley and his talent for impersonation as he travels around Italy while his lies slowly propel him further and further down the rabbit hole. During the movie, Damon is seen throughout the country at stunning places such as Venice, Naples and Rome. One scene, which introduces the malicious Freddie Miles is set at a café in the Piazza Navona in Rome. Watch the film for yourself and see what other Roma sights you can spot.

  • Eat, Pray, Love

    Although this is a more recent movie (released in 2010), it instantly became a classic. Based on the memoir of the same name, written by Elizabeth Gilbert the film follows Julia Roberts (Gilbert) as she ventures throughout the world discovering herself along the way. She spends a significant amount of time in Rome, with shots at the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Campo de fiori, Trastevere alleys, Villa Borghese and Via Condotti. The film is uplifting and awe inspiring, as Roberts’ character dumps everything else in her life and focuses on actually living, hence the title – eat, pray, love. These three elements correlate to the three places Roberts visits, Rome, India and Indonesia. If this doesn’t make you want to jet off to Rome or anywhere else in the world, we don’t know what will.

  • To Rome With Love

    This film was a love letter to Rome from Woody Allen, who not only directs the film but stars in it, acting for the first time since 2006. Another modern classic released in 2012, the film tells four unrelated stories all taking place in Roma. While the main attractions in Rome are shown throughout, other smaller scenes depicting the city’s cobblestone alleyways covered in bright colours and lush vines depict the simpler charm and beauty this city is famous for. Depicting the romantic vision of the Rome to viewers.

We hope this list has convinced you to have a little movie night before heading to the Eternal City yourself. See what landmarks, sights, or streets you can spot before you see them first-hand. You could even try to recreate some of your favourite film scenes!

To get a comprehensive look at Rome, check out our Rome Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican, you’re sure to come across some of the spots mentioned in these movies.

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